Part three of Duncan's projected tetralogy (most recently Upland Outlaw, p. 338), set in Pandemia, land of sorcerers, gods, and numerous human varieties. The insane but enormously powerful dwarf mage Zinixo has ensorcelled many of Pandemia's magicians, compelling them to join his all-but-irresistible Covin. Meanwhile, various characters resist Zinixo by one means or another. King Rap of Krasnegar journeys among the trolls, hoping to persuade the remaining free sorcerers to unite against Zinixo, and unexpectedly wins the support of a large contingent of cannibal mages, unaware that his wife and children have been captured by a combined dwarf/goblin army. The deposed Imperor Shandie's rakish aide, Ylo, believing Shandie to be dead, appropriates the Imperor's beautiful and neglected wife, Eshiala. At the same time, the pixies--hidden by powerful spells for a thousand years--are also undergoing upheavals. Thaile, potentially their most powerful mage, rejects the terrible constraints imposed upon her by the pixies' Keeper and goes traveling into the outer world, just in time to rescue Rap's daughter, Kadie. Again, not as delightful as the inaugural volume--but Duncan does retain his sense of humor and proportion. So: refreshingly lighthearted in the telling, and above-average overall.